Hollywood has always had a soft spot for musicals. “The Broadway Melody” in the 1920’s, “Singin’ in the Rain” and “An American in Paris” in the 1950’s, “Oliver!” in the 1960’s and “Chicago” in the early 2000’s. In 2011, french director Michel Hazanavicius hired Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo to star in his film “The Artist”, a tribute to the silent era that managed to win 5 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Already nominated for 7 Golden Globes, “La La Land” could be on its way to replicate the huge success of “The Artist”, and deservedly so. If it were merely a tribute to old Hollywood musicals of the 1950’s, it would be easy to dismiss it as an amusing stunt and nothing more (think “Hail, Caesar!”). But writer-director Damien Chazelle (who directed “Whiplash”) has other ideas. His direction is so sure, his actors so engaging and charming, that he manages to grab us with his dynamic story and holds us in the palm of his hand from beginning to end. Leading man Ryan Gosling needs no introduction, and his leading lady, the wonderful Emma Stone, is a perfect match. Together they make “La La Land” an irresistible film that wins its audience the old fashioned-way: through songs and a love story. Gosling plays a Jazz musician who dreams of opening his own Jazz Club. Stone plays an aspiring actress who dreams of showing the world what she can do. I shouldn’t reveal more. But I will say that in Damien Chazelle’s hands, “La La Land” becomes an instant classic. My advice to approaching it is to sit back and let it engulf you. In terms of acting, imagination and spectacular musical numbers, “La La Land” is a masterpiece, a miracle of a film that deserves every award that is coming its way.